[Advaita-l] The Human aspect of Jnanis - 4

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Jul 17 01:23:13 CDT 2010


In the earlier parts we had seen some instances of the emotion 'anger'
manifesting in Jnani-s.  One was about Shankara Bhagavatpada' s cursing  His
former kinsmen on the occasion of the cremation of Mother AryAmba. This was
quoted from the account of His life 'Madhaveeya Shankara Vijayam' authored
by Swami Vidyaranya, held to be a Jnani by the Advaitins. The other instance
was about Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi reacting to the gardeners for their
treatment of the mango trees. This incident is recorded by Suri Nagamma who
was witness to the incident which left the onlookers trembling in fear.

In this part we shall take up some cases of 'desire'.  The genesis of this
presentation lies in the fact that those students of Advaita who cannot come
to terms with the unassailable position of the Vedanta, as taught by the
tradition established by Shankaracharya, that a Jnani lives with the
body-mind apparatus active for the rest of the period he is destined to
live.  And that such a life entails contact with the world of duality and
reacting to the happenings in the world that could be immediately connected
to the life of the Jnani.  A typical, real-time question, not hypothetical,
is raised thus:  (We can treat this question as the 'pUrvapaksha' , an
objection) -

The Jnani's reaction to external stimuli stems from the fact of the Jnani's
mind/sense organs considering the external stimuli as different from
themselves and going about reacting to the stimuli.  For example, when the
Jnani is hungry, and food is placed before him, the eyes see the food and
the hands take the food and place it in the mouth.  The mouth tastes, chews,
swallows etc.  All these vyavahara take place in the world of duality.  For
example the Bhagavadgita 4.21 says:

niraasheeryatachittaatmaa tyaktasarvaparigrahaH
shAreeram kevalam karma kurvan na aapnoti kilbiSham

Here, Bhagavan says that the Jnani having given up all wants and without any
longings and of controlled mind lives doing only that minimum which is
required to maintain his body.  By doing just this much he earns no evil
karma (binding karma).  Shankaracharya takes up a lengthy discussion to
decide on the meaning of the  word 'shAreeram' (related to the body) and
concludes that this word only means:  the work necessary to the upkeep of
the body.  Thus, confirming the scriptural position that the Jnani has a
body to maintain which he does just so much of action as is necessary.
However, he himself is not attached to even this work and it is only the
others think that he has kartRtvam.

Extending this scheme, the questioner asks:  Will the Jnani be capable of
engaging in an act of procreating ?  For, this act requires the Jnani (the
Jnani's mind / organs) to see the other party essential for the act of
procreation as different from themselves and accomplish the act of
copulation.  Since the Jnani is admitted to be one of Advaitic vision and,
in the thinking of the questioner, without body, mind, organs, etc. how at
all will this act become possible?

The reply:

 Atma sAkShAtkAra or enlightenment will not take away the Jnani's capacity
for maithuna (copulation). There are several examples in the scripture and
in the world to show that a Jnani, that is after enlightenment, sired
offspring.  The famous case of the birth of Paandu, DhritarAShtra and Vidura
through Veda Vyasa is there.  After Vichitraveerya died, the  widows who did
not have issues to continue the Kuru clan, gave birth to those two brothers
Pandu and Dhritarashtra through Vyasa as the father.  There is no doubt at
all about Veda Vyasa's JnAnitva.  One might not say that he had a 'strong
feeling of the opposite sex' but he did indulge, as a matter of obeying the
command of Satyavati, his mother, in the maithuna.

Kashyapa PrajApati is spoken of as a Jnani. ('His name appears even  in the
Aruna Prashna of the Krishna Yajurveda)There is the famous case of how Diti
, his other wife,  demanded maithuna in sandhyA kaala and Kashyapa had to
oblige, much against his will.  And that is how daityas were born. This is
reported in the Srimad Bhagavatam, authored by Veda Vyasa and retold by
Shuka Maharshi, both of them acknowledged in the tradition as Jnanis
themselves.  So, here we have an account of the human aspect of a Jnani,
Kashyapa, recorded by not ajnanis, by Jnanis themselves.  That speaks of the
authenticity of the phenomenon and the version.

In contemporary history, here is an incident reported by Swami Saradananda
in  'Sri Ramakrishna the Great Master':

(Quote) The Master: 'Ah, lust does not vanish till God is realized.  *So
long as the body lasts, a little of it continues even after realization but
then it cannot raise its head.*  Do you think I myself am altogether free
from it? At one time I thought I had conquered lust.  When I was sitting
under PanchavaTi such an onrush of lust came that it seemed to be beyond my
power of control.  I then wept rubbing my face against the dust on the
ground and said to Mother, ' I have done a great wrong, Mother.  I shall
never again harbour the idea that I have conquered lust.'  It was then only
it vanished.' (unquote)

It cannot be objected that the above account of a Jnani, Sri Ramakrishna
Paramahamsa, is given out by an ajnani, Swami Saradananada.  For, firstly,
the account reported by the Swami is in the first person as told by Sri
Ramakrishna.  Secondly, Swami Saradananda, a direct disciple of Sri
Ramakrishna, is held to be a realized person by the Ramakrishna followers.
What is to be appreciated is, the account, definitely not very favourable to
a Jnani, his guru, is so straightforward and open that it does not make any
attempt to cover up anything.  Almost everything that the modern world knows
about Sri Ramakrishna is based on this book and the other one: The Gospel of
Sri Ramakrishna authored by Master Mahashaya (Mahendranath Gupta). [This
Swami Saradananda is one of the 16 direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna who
were directly associated with him and took to the sannyasa order after the
passing of Sri Ramakrishna.  Swamis Vivekananda , Brahmananda and
Abhedananda are the others in this group.]

If it is held, on the strength of the purported words of Bhagavan Ramana
that 'all that is said about a Jnani's actions is only the imagination of
the ajnani-s', and therefore are not true, then even these very words
purported to have been spoken by a Jnani, Bhagavan, and recorded and
reported by others, essentially ajnanis, are to be rejected as after all
only imaginations of ajnanis.

Another instance: There lived a Jnani till very recently whose two of the
five children were born after his enlightenment.

The above incidents bring to the fore the following:

   1. The Jnani has a body
   2. A mind
   3. The mind is the abode of thoughts, vasanas.
   4. The Jnani reacts to the happenings in the world around him
   5. The Jnani has vasanas, as evidenced by the words of Sri Ramakrishna
   himself in the first person (not a concoction of an ajnani)
   6. Enlightenment does not incapacitate the Jnani of procreation
   7. Whatever  a Jnani does is essentially thru the body-mind-organs
   8. The Jnani does not have the idea of doership or experiencer-hood
   9. He has the firm knowledge that it is only the mind-body apparatus that
   engage in action and experiencing their fruits.
   10. This does not affect his Jnana and the resultant mukti.

(To be concluded in the next part.)


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